Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart

1308 Words Mar 2nd, 2016 6 Pages
In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the reader is taken on a literary journey to a Nigerian tribe, the Umuofia, to experience first-hand the struggles of a warrior named Okonkwo. At first glance, the novel appears to be written for a very specific audience: scholars familiar with Nigerian history, traditions, and culture. However, upon further examination the novel reveals itself to be a striking chronicle of human experiences, universal themes, and timeless struggles that appeal to every human, regardless of familiarity with Nigerian culture. Taken as a whole, the novel appears to be much more than the sum of its parts: syntax, diction, figurative language, imagery, repetition, and symbols. Things Fall Apart is a novel with literary merit—and lots of it.

Part of the novel’s appeal lies in its compelling themes which strike chords that resound throughout time and across linguistic barriers. The clash of cultures, the struggle with change, and fatal character flaws are the main themes which Achebe’s novel probes. In order to sculpt a literary monument to the human condition and these universal themes, the author, Achebe, employs a broad variety of literary tools. Literary devices play a crucial role in enhancing the novel’s main themes and earning Things Fall Apart its widespread acceptance as a quality piece of literature.

The clash of cultures is undoubtedly one of the most universal themes seen in literature. This cultural clash can be seen throughout life and history…

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